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Copy of Othello: Act 4, Scene 1

An in depth analysis of a scene in Shakespeare's Othello
by

Dara O'Driscoll

on 12 March 2014

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Transcript of Copy of Othello: Act 4, Scene 1

Othello the Jealous Monster
Iago the Puppet Master
Desdemona the Submissive Wife
Character
Setting
Iago's World
Appearance Matters, Not the Truth
Theme
Appearance vs. Reality
Jealousy
Symbolism
Handkerchief
Plot
Dramatic Techniques
Dramatic Irony
Literary Devices
Animal Imagery
Metaphor
Juxtaposition
Repitition
Questions
Inconsistencies
In this Scene
Previously
How does Bianca’s and Othello’s reaction to jealousy different? And how does their identity, gender, and social status affect their reactions?

How is the entering of Lodovico important to the scene? How is Othello’s actions towards the state when Lodovico enters, differ from the beginning of the play with the Duke to this scene?

How has the status changed between Othello and Iago? Who is in control? How is this change in power shown?

Is vulnerable to suggestion, it seems that he is persuading himself, of things Iago has not even said
When Othello strikes Desdemona, he shows the severity of his change
Savagery is taking over his civility

Obedient towards Othello despite how he struck her

Maintains control over all characters

The puppet master that controls the characters

Cassio’s understanding of Othello’s fit
Othello’s perception of Cassio’s confession
Lodivico’s impression of Othello

Plot rests on the characters misinterpretation of what they see

Due to his jealousy, Othello cannot distinguish between reality and appearance
Other characters are also controlled by jealousy
Motivates Iago and Roderigo to destroy Othello

Central symbol that circulates throughout the play
Represents Othello’s love, which Desdemona treasures
Iago knows that Othello considers the handkerchief as a symbol of Desdemona’s fidelity

Also a symbol of Othello’s mysterious past and his difference in race
History of the item is supposedly filled with magic
The huge significance of the tiny object shows how as a person consumed by jealousy can exaggerate small incidents into concrete proof of love and betrayal

Uses the handkerchief as proof but Othello still demands visual evidence

Iago makes Othello doubt Desdemona

Othello’s epileptic fit demonstrates the depth of Iago's manipulation
Bianca’s appearance with the handkerchief provides Othello with ocular proof

Solidifies Iago’s power over Othello
Leads towards resolution
Desdemona and Cassio’s murder is planned

When Bianca enters and scolds Cassio about the handkerchief, she believes it to be a token from another women
She talks as if the conversation in Act iii, scene 4 never took place

Othello thinking that Cassio and Iago is talking about Desdemona, but in reality they are actually talking about Bianca

(4.1.20)
“O, it comes o’er my memory as doth the raven o’er the infected house, Boding to all!”
-Othello

Othello’s own impulses are similar to an animal
Denotes Othello’s rational side, and is replaced with more spontaneous and emotional aspects of his character

(4.1.179)
“No, my heart is turned to stone: I strike it, and it hurts my hand.”
-Othello

for how Othello feels about Desdemona at this point in the play

(4.1.236-237)
“Why, sweet Othello”
-Desdemona
“Devil” [strikes her]
-Othello

The juxtaposition makes Desdemona more virtuous and reveals her pure love for Othello
Shows her complete innocence and obliviousness to what is happening around her compared to Othello’s cruel treatment towards her.

Use of repetition from Othello serves to remind the reader that Othello is steadily becoming less mentally stable
Gesture of Othello’s growing lack of self confidence in himself and his need for assurance by repeating himself

Also be a means for Othello to convince himself of the facts
Important in Iago’s persuasion of Desdemona’s infidelity
Full transcript